At facebook a few weeks ago, I linked to a talk by Tanja Bergkvist, who talked about the backsides of genus-research and its premature and unsound implementations in society, in terms of a growing meaningless bureaucracy, and faked rather than genuine stands and reforms for gender equality. Here is another little blog entry on a related topic, but with a nice twist that relates to the events I am arranging here at yoga-link.se, and which also might provide some suggestions for how we can deal with similar problems regarding racism.
gender inequality is a topic I am usually not that involved in, and I don't
even have any settled opinions on many issues (I do believe, however, that
there are gender discriminations in both directions, where men also are
discriminated in e.g. child care settlements, even though I think that most
discriminations are invisible and structural, and still are to the disadvantage
for women, and disadvantegous for the development towards a harmonious
In any case, it seems like the debate here in Sweden is rather polarized, with anti-feminists and radical feminists in the two extremes, and where the former sometimes go to rather nasty, even scary, threats - protected by the anonymity of internet. This hatred is often built up in closed circles among (e.g.) anti-feminists, and then spread through comment sections to news paper articles, and on the blogs of the antagonists (e.g. the feminists).
So, to help relieve these tensions, to discharge some built-up net-hatred, and to further some true exchange of ideas to evolve the whole public discourse, some of them decided to arrange a pub-evening. This turned out to be very well-attended, with large gatherings from several different sub-communities, where they sat down and discussed in small mixed groups, over beer, and in apparently friendly tones. I think that this is a very nice initiative, and it is also very similar to the general attitude I have with some of my events here at yoga-link.se: to combine the best of internet-based discussions with the best of informal face-to-face discussions - and all mixed up with some good food and beverage.
Here are three blog-entries devoted to the same evening (in Swedish). One, by Pelle Billing, who is an not only seemingly sound gender-issue debater, but also a tango-teacher, and by two of the best know antagonists. Tanja Bergkvist also appeared at the event.
Finally, the same phenomenon of built-up net-hatred through anonymity, magnification and radicalization of beliefs through closed internet-forums with only like-minded people, and a frustated and not met dispersion of these throughts into a dysfunctional public discourse, appears also for the growing problem of racism. I therefore think that we should consider if similar social events wouldn't be a good idea also for the equally infected topics of immigration and integration.